The Boston Red Sox planned on having a six-man starting rotation to start the second half of the Major League Baseball season, but it turns out they will have to increase that number by one.
Manager John Farrell announced before Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays that the Red Sox will use seven different starting pitchers in seven games this week.
While Doug Fister was supposed to start Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park, he will be bumped back to Thursday after he tossed 2 2/3 innings in relief Saturday in the Red Sox’s 16-inning loss to the New York Yankees.
As a result, left-hander Brian Johnson will make a spot-start Tuesday against the Blue Jays, with Drew Pomeranz taking the ball Wednesday and Fister finishing out the four-game series Thursday. That means that Chris Sale will take the hill in Los Angeles on Friday to begin the three-game series against the Angels with David Price and Rick Porcello pitching the rest of the weekend.
Farrell was most concerned with splitting up Eduardo Rodriguez, who got the start Monday, and David Price due to their arm angles.
“With the three left-handed starters that are there, the two most similar might be Eddy and David,” Farrell told the media. “So just kind of splitting those guys up, where Chris has got a different arm slot, different type of stuff, different action to his breaking balls – although left-handed, (he’s) probably much more different than the other two.”
Johnson hasn’t started in the big leagues since June 14 against the Philadelphia Phillies when he was removed with a left shoulder impingement.
Farrell also said he would like to get Sale some extra rest since he is on pace to set a career-high in innings pitched.
“The way the schedule balances out, and we would look to take advantage of the off days for all our guys as the innings are starting to pile up,” Farrell said. “He’ll go on his regular fifth day the next time through but then there’s an off day built in, an extra day the following time through that.”
Here are more notes from Red Sox vs. Blue Jays.
— The Red Sox recorded multiple hits with runners in scoring position in a game for the first time since the All-Star break. They are 5-for-44 with runners in scoring position since the break.
— Marcus Stroman now has struck out Mookie Betts seven times in his career. That is the most by any pitcher against the Red Sox outfielder.
— Robby Scott will be optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday to make room for Johnson.
— Dustin Pedroia now is hitting .441 with two outs and runners in scoring position.
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